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Recommendations for a newbie?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

OK, so this is my first post here. I was hoping some of you experts can recommend me a pair of headphones. I'm nowhere near an audiophile and I don't know too much about the different brands and whatnot. I've read up a bunch of reviews and stuff, but it's hard for me to make an informed decision since I'm a bit of a noob at this whole hi-fi business.


I'm looking to get a pair of headphones - the over the ear type. Now, I'm willing to spend a fair amount - maybe up to $300/400 or something, give or take. They will spend most (if not all) of their time being plugged into an mp3 player, iphone or my laptop. I don't need or want an amp, so I'm looking for a set that will work great without one.


One of the main things I'm looking for is comfort. I've been using a cheap pair of HD202's and while they sound alright, they're terribly uncomfortable. My ears kinda stick out a bit too and watching a movie with these things is oftentimes a painful experience. I want a really comfortable pair. I'm undecided whether I want closed or open ones, so I'm pretty open to either one. But I do appreciate good bass and having minimal leakage would be a plus. Also, if they have the wire coming from one side (and not both), that'd be better, I guess.


Any and all input will be highly appreciated.

post #2 of 17

Denon 2000... For both music and movies.. Mind you, D bass is heavy

post #3 of 17

The D2000, or the SRH440/840, Beyer DT250

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I've also stumbled upon the AKG 701/702's. How would these fare versus the ones already mentioned?


And actually, a couple more questions - for the sets that aren't closed, just how much sound leakage are we talking about?


Finally, how comfortable are any of these full-sized headphones with glasses? Thanks in advance

post #5 of 17

AKG 701/702 is a no go without an amp. They are better than the denons or the shure 840 imho.


Leakage wise, in my experience, someone sitting abt 6 feet away will know what you are listening. but again depends from can to can and @ the volume you are listening at.


Ummm, don't have glasses but ever considered iem's??? (easy to drive, @ 400$ you will get some of the best iem's out there minus amping)

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Damn, so AKG's are a no go sans an amp, huh? Bummer, they look pretty cool and got pretty terrific reviews.


What about the ATH-ESW9's? These look pretty sexy, too.


And yeah, definitely not interested in IEM's...sticking crap way into my ears is totally not my thing. Which is why I can't stand those in-ear earphones, either...

post #7 of 17

On the most part, leakage at regular listening volume with open cans will definitely annoy anyone nearby.


I think the esw9 are on-ear, which will probably annoy you even more than your current headphones.


My advice: don't go by looks.  I spend a lot of time with my Beyer DT-150, which I find quite comfy and ugly as sin.  My GMP-450s aren't going to win any beauty contests either, but it hardly feels like I'm wearing headphones.


I would echo the advice to grab the Beyerdynamic DT-250 or DT-150.  They ain't pretty, but they are solid, offer well-rounded sound, and are relatively easy to drive.

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Damn, really? I thought the ATH-ESW9's were over the ear... they look hot though.


I guess I'm looking for closed ones then. I thought leakage happened at high to extreme volumes =/ I'm definitely not trying to annoy folks that may sit near me. So if I were playing something at a reasonable volume on, say, the HD650's, people  nearby would hear everything?


So comfort-wise, what model is renowned for feeling really great on the ears? Like I said my ears kinda stick out, so I guess I'm looking for larger ear cups.

post #9 of 17

I've heard good things about the comfort of Denons and Ultrasones, both of which have closed models that fit your price range.


Do you have a high-end audio store to try a few brands before you buy a pair?  Comfort is a really personal thing.


Ooh, also--if you do end up getting ATH-ESW9 (or 7) make sure you don't get fakes, which are really common.

post #10 of 17

Seeing that you'll be carrying your phones around with you, have you considered IEMs?  I like IEMs more for portability.  Could never bring myself to lug around a nice pair headphones.  Still, here's a good comparison of multiple portable headphones: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/433318/shootout-35-portable-headphones-compared-panasonic-rp-htx7-philips-shp5400-added-05-02-10


PS: IEMs are In Ear Monitors, basically earphones.

post #11 of 17

If not the denons go with the ath-m50's or the ath-ES7 (i prefer these)..

Since there is a lot of emphasis on your end on comfort, i suggest you try them all once..


I have a feeling that the denons will suit you best

post #12 of 17

Audio-Technica ATH-M50!!! you can buy it at ebay for $100 or at headroom.com for $149. These are excellent headphones. btw, it comes with coiled and straight cable.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm not considering IEM's cause I can't stand sticking stuff into my ears.


As much as I like the K701's, I think I do need closed cans, I think. And the fact that I'd need a converter to a 3.5mm is kind of a con, as well.


Are the D2000's $70 better than the SRH840's? The SRH840's cost $158 on Amazon, while the Denons are like $228. Worth the extra dough?

post #14 of 17

Both are very good headphones for the price.


Shure is very comfortable, quite easy to drive and very nice sounding. From all the medium budget closed headphones I've listened to date I like the SRH840 the most. Quite neutral in character but at the same time very musical and easy on the ear.


Denon D2000 on the other hand is considered a somewhat higher pedigree, having a great potential for modding (see Lawton Audio's website). My short experience with them tells me that they shine when driven by a good amp. They sounded somewhat dull out of an Ipod + portable amplifier (iBasso T4).


To my head&ears both headphones are equally comfortable. The Denon does have the look and feel of a more expensive, fancier gadget.


Given the fact the Shure SRH840 can be had for even lower (~130$ on ebay) it's very easy to recommend.



Edited by audiofil - 5/20/10 at 8:00pm
post #15 of 17

I agree with audiofil about the SRH840. Great sounding cans. Beautifully neutral and natural. Just slight on the bass, but I've heard much worse. All around one of the best values out there for closed / sound.


I could not wear them because they are heavy and hurt my head. There is a thread on how another Head-fi'er modded them to fit and feel better. If you have a lot of hair (I don't), these may be the best you can get for the money.


I wound up with the M50. I've given up a bit in sonic purity (big bass, slightly recessed upper-mids), but gained a lot in comfort and 'fun'.


Good luck



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